1st of May is Labor Day in Germany and in some cities traditionally the day for a parade by the extreme right-wing parties. Of course then the left-wing people and lots of other groups jump in to protest against it.
I wanted to visit a friend today and went there by train. I hadn't known there would be one of these big demonstrations. Police all over the place. I hope I smiled at the right times because there were quite a few of them with cameras. Haha. Really I didn't feel like smiling, though. It scared the heck out of me. When I came out of the train station, I didn't believe my eyes. Had I known it would be like this we could have set a different meeting place. To make it short, after feeling not very safe in a group of yelling people I almost begged the police to let me back into the station which was allowed when you had a ticket. There we finally found each other.
On the way back it was even worse. The first thing we saw when coming to the station were water cannons going off and a crowd of people running into our direction. I got out of the car and tried to get inside, but at first I was stuck in a group with young people arguing with the police. After I could finally show my ticket again I was admitted to the station. On the way I saw injured people lying on the ground being tended to by paramedics, a crying girl that asked a policeman where they had taken her boyfriend who had been arrested. I was so glad when I had arrived on the track safely only to see there was another crowd - no idea which wing they belonged to, but they sounded loud and aggressive - guarded by the police. When they finally had moved to a different track, I felt for the first time I could breathe a little easier, but I had gotten my hopes up too soon. A guy with a right-wing shirt and another guy who didn't approve of it (which I can understand just too well!!) started going at each other, but some elder people reacted real fast and went in between.
I have probably never been that happy to see a train. Even if I had to sit upstairs because downstairs was another crowd.
I arrived safely at home eventually. Maybe my feelings were overreactions, but I had never experienced something like it and I have a problem with big gatherings anyway. Gee, I don't even like to go to big wedding or birthday parties with people I know!
At any rate it was scary. Not only because of the aggressivity I could sense, not only because the police looked like they were ready to go into war with their helmets, enormous boots and weapons, not only because I am a wimp, but because there shouldn't be people like that at all. Young people - and not only in Germany - that glorify what happened so long ago, that have opinions that are just plain dangerous. Dangerous for the whole world.